carlyn yandle photos
If you spot any typos in this column, don’t blame my editor; my hands are shaking with excitement as I type, knowing my sister is in the first stage of labour.
Within hours of this writing, there will be a new mom, new dad and new little person in the one-bedroom West End rental apartment that used to be hers alone.
She thought about moving into more square footage once they were three, but she likes the place too much to let it go just yet.
There’s her sunny little balcony where she grows tomatoes in summer, the five-minute walk to the seawall and Aquatic Centre, the array of ethnic eateries just around the corner.
While other expectant mothers focus on creating a magazine-worthy nursery, my sister’s dreaming of springtime walks around Stanley Park and rendezvous with friends and babies at one of the coffeehouses down the block.
The downtown lifestyle has been great motivation to tackle the challenge of creating space for a baby in a one-bedroom apartment.
Any veteran mother will tell you that newborns don’t take up much space; it’s the paraphernalia that hogs room, from elaborate strollers to life-size stuffed animals. Newborns don’t need full-size cribs, let alone a matchy-matchy upscale nursery bedroom suite. Like all other aspects of small-space living, some self-discipline is required.
So instead of the crib, my sister has opted for a hammock-like Amby Baby Motion Bed, ambybaby.com, which tucks nicely into the corner beside the big bed. She cleared out the existing white Ikea dresser for baby clothes and diapers, and fitted it with a change-table topper.
To increase storage space without losing square-footage, the dad-to-be surrounded the dresser with a hanging white mesh organizer and two white Lak floating shelves, both from Ikea, in a staggered design to leave room above the change table for the task at hand and a mobile for baby, while allowing easy access to other baby essentials on the second shelf.
A few matching square white baskets the same depth as the shelves keep jars and bottles tidy, and the whole white-on-white colour scheme further reduces visual clutter.
Meanwhile, the clothes removed from the dresser were subjected to a general weeding, then placed in two reorganized closets. All out-of-season clothes and gear were boxed up and stored in a $50/month rental locker — a growing necessity as city dwellers opt for quality of lifestyle over quantity of living space.